Weekly newsletter 11th August 2017

Will Cooke will.cooke at canonical.com
Fri Aug 11 16:31:20 UTC 2017

Hi all,

Here's this week's goings on:


The GNOME conference happened last week with good representation from
Ubuntu. The spirit was good and the discussions constructive. Decisions
were made, details can be read on

= GNOME Shell =

We’re preparing to make the changes described above in the coming weeks,
that means that the GNOME Shell Ubuntu session is going to transition to
this design in the next few days. Didier will be posting a series of blog
posts next week on how this all works as they are landing. The vanilla
upstream GNOME session will also emerge from this work. And we’ll link to
the posts in next week’s newsletter, but keep an eye on social media for
up-to-date information.
We’ve resurrected the “power off” option when the power button is pressed.
This will appear in GNOME Control Center 3.25.90.

= Video, Audio, Bluetooth, Networking =

You might have seen this screenshot earlier in the week:
We’re testing some patches to Chromium 60 in Artful to enable video
acceleration and we’re seeing roughly a 50% saving in CPU overhead when
using VA API.  In the screenshot above playing the video without
acceleration is on the left and playing with acceleration is on the right.
The CPU is Haswell.  There are still more bugs to fix, but we’re making

In Pulse Audio we’ve dropped some more patches for Android support (from
Ubuntu Touch) bringing us more inline with upstream.  This will make
maintenance easier and should reduce the chance of bugs cropping up from
our patches.

Our patches to add enabling and disabling of the Network Connectivity
Checker are in review upstream.  This will eventually add a toggle switch
in the privacy settings of Control Center to allow you to turn on/off the
connectivity checker.  We should be able to distro-patch these into Ubuntu
soon before they appear upstream, and then drop the patches once they are
available upstream.

We’re including the Rhythmbox “Alternate Toolbar” by default in 17.10, this
brings a tidier user interface

= Updates =

Updated Chromium stable to 60.0.3112.78, pending validation.  The next
Chromium stable update is 60.0.3112.90, already lined up in a PPA.  Updated
Chromium beta to 61.0.3163.31, Chromium dev to 62.0.3175.4.
Updating LibreOffice Snap to 5.4.0.
Merged upstream Ghostscript version 9.21 from Debian into Ubuntu.
Synced newest versions from Debian for hplip, cups-bjnp, ippusbxd.
System-config-printer updated to a new snapshot from upstream GIT.
GNOME got a stack of updates to 3.25.90 (evolution, games, font viewer,
online accounts, tweak tool, map, log, disk, calculator, cheese, todo)

= In The News =

We’re planning a Fit And Finish hackfest in London at the end of August to
find and fix all the niggly little bugs and theming issues. If you’ve got
skills to offer and would like to get involved please see Popey’s blog post
Softpedia also covers this topic here (

Linux Action News discuss the changes to the default session in 17.10:

16.04.3 was released last week.  OMG covers the release here:
OMG also have articles on the dock (
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2017/08/phew-ubuntu-17-10-will-desktop-dock) and
the Rhythmbox plugin (

Softpedia discuss Didier’s blog post about the changes coming to the
default session here (

Cheers, Will
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